Not only the Japanese watched “Evangelion” in childhood. This animated cartoon portrayed a future where machines and people merge into a cybernetic ecstasy. Watching the battles of robots, we ourselves have become obsessed with dreams of bionic superheroine. Robots have always been part of the Japanese mentality. Astro Boy, for example, even officially made the list of the inhabitants of Niiza, North of Tokyo, and is a serious feat. The Japanese are not only not fear robots — they look forward to them.
Not that the inhabitants of the West never had any friendly robots take the same R2-D2 or “Rosie” from “the Jetsons.” But compared to the Japanese, we were more afraid of robots. Perhaps the difference in various religious contexts, history, and attitude towards robots in industrial scale.
The Western concept of “humanity” is limited, says Joe ito, editor of Wired Japanese origin. He also offers to give serious consideration to the question whether we have the right to use the environment, animals, tools, or robots, simply because we are human, and they are not.
In the 1980s he took part in the meeting organized by the Honda Foundation on which the Japanese Professor came to the conclusion that the Japanese successfully integrate robots into society because of the local religion, Shinto, which remains the official national religion of Japan.
Why are we afraid of robots?
The followers of Shinto, in contrast to Judeo-Christian monotheists and the Greeks before them, don’t you think that people with something “special.” Instead, everywhere the spirits soar, like some kind of Force in “Star wars”. Nature does not belong to us we belong to nature, and spirits live in everything, including stones, tools, houses, and even empty space.
In the West, continued the Professor, things do not have spirits and feelings, and anthropomorphism, when human attributes are transferred to things or animals, is childish, primitive, or even bad. He argued that the Luddites, who smashed automated looms that were taking away their work in the 19th century, a striking example of this — in Japan, robots are more like colleagues than enemies.
The General idea that the Japanese can more easily accept robots than Westerners, it is quite common these days. Osamu Tezuka, Japanese animator and Creator of Atom Boy, noted the connection between Buddhism and robots, saying: “Robots do not differentiate between man, the Supreme being and the world around him. All entails, and we accept robots easily along with the wide world around us, insects, rocks — everything is one. We have no questionable relationships to robots, as pseudology, which you can find in the West. Why don’t you find resistance, just a calm acceptance”. Although the Japanese, of course, were first farmers and then moved into the industrial era, the influence of Shintoism and Buddhism led to the fact that Japan has retained many of the rituals and customs of the ancient periods.
Yuval Noah Harari, an Israeli historian, describes the concept of “humanity” as something that evolved in our belief system, when we turned from hunter-gatherers to herders and farmers, and then the capitalists. When we were first hunter-gatherers, nature did not belong to us, we were only a part of it, and today many people still live in this belief system. Native Americans are listening and talking to the wind. Hunters often use rituals to communicate with prey and predators in the forest. Many hunter-gatherer cultures, for example, is deeply connected with the land, but have no tradition of land ownership.
Only when people started farming and agriculture, we had the idea that we own and rule over other things, over nature. The notion that anything — a rock, a sheep, a dog, a car or a person can belong to the person or Corporation is a relatively new idea. In many ways, this is the main idea of “mankind” that makes people special, protected class and, in the process, obeschelovechivayut and suppresses everything that is not human or not alive. Dehumanization and the concept of ownership and of the economy gave rise to large-scale slavery.
The historian H. IDB candy describes the debates of the colonial era in America about whether to convert slaves to the Christian faith. British law States that a Christian cannot work, and many plantation owners feared that they would lose their slaves if they become Christians. Therefore, argued, that blacks are too barbarians to become Christians. Others have argued that Christianity would make slaves more obedient. In essence, these disputes pertained to increase or decrease the gift of Christianity, the subordination of slaves. (The idea of permissions spirituality is fundamentally alien to Japanese culture, because the spirit is in all, and you can’t take or give).
The fear of being overthrown by the oppressed become the oppressed or somehow dominant in the minds of those who from the beginning was in power during the era of slavery and the slave trade. Although Japan was also in a sense slavery, it was not common on an industrial scale.
Many influential people in the West (among which the white — majority) publicly expressed their concerns regarding the potential ability of robots to enslave people. Many of the same people as a race are trying to build robots that will be capable enough to do this, to try to keep control of them, until you do others. To convert to Christianity, however, robots are not going… but it is.
If we draw the relationship between slaves and robots, you might think that degumaniziruet slaves or descendants of slaves, which is especially dangerous in the age of wars of words and symbols. It is not so much about humanization and dehumanization, but about the problem of creating a privileged class of people — which we justify oppression, neglect, and exploitation.
Now technologies are on the turn, when we need to think about the fact that robots can have rights and how to encode and protect. Imagine what our relationship with robots will be the same as the characters Star wars — C-3PO, R2-D2 and BB-8, is a little naive.
As noted by a researcher from the MIT Media Lab Kate darling, there’s a lot of evidence that people experience emotions and respond to social robots — even foolish. That is the point we should take very seriously. We perceived negatively when someone offends or pushes the robot. That would be anthropomorphizing we should think, as a constraint on the robot leads to violence.
Replacement of oppressed people oppressed by the machines will not fix fundamentally the wrong order, which has evolved over many centuries. Shintoists believe that it would not hurt to look at the “primitive” belief systems. The development and evolution of machine intelligence can be considered as “advanced intelligence”, and not artificial, threatening the man.
As you create rules and rights for robots, we will probably need to agree on them before to know how they will affect society. Like the Golden rule teaches us to treat others as we would like them to be treated, the violence and dehumanization of robots will be felt in future generations.
It is easy to guess why the shepherds and farmers came to the idea that people are special, but AI and robots can put us on a different path, to make us think about the fact that people — this is just one example of the manifestation of consciousness, and that the special situation of humanity is an exaggeration. Instead focus on the person, you need to develop respect, emotional and spiritual dialogue with all things.